Good Sh*t Alert: Knock-Your-Socks-Off Chantarelle Mushroom and Poblano Pepper Tamales from 'Chickpea and Olive,' Brooklyn's Best Vegan Pop-Up

August 30, 2012 2:29 PM EDT | By Anthony Smith
Chantarelle Mushroom and Poblano Pepper Tamales, Courtesy of 'Chickpea and Olive' (Photo: FoodTV)

For Danielle Ricciardi and Daniel Strong, the cruelty-free masterminds (more Mother Theresa than Machiavelli) behind a little Brooklyn pop-up called Chickpea and Olive that's taken the Smorgasburg Food Festival by storm, the sky's the limit. Their vegan sliders, inspired by the falafel and pulsing with some crazy note of nostalgia that really resonates with even the most carnivorous eaters, found a permanent space in my heart that has ensured a weekly rotation into my stomach.

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"We're still working out the kinks of our next burger patty," said Danielle Ricciardi, who's typically the first face you meet at their Smorgasburg pop-up, "a Tex-Mex Squash Hominy Burger with a Sesame Seed Bun."

And seeing the work they've done at the intersection of vegan and Tex-Mex before, we're pretty stoked. Till then, here's their recipe for Chantarelle Mushroom and Poblano Pepper Tamales, published here in all its splendor with permission and elation.

***Chanterelle Mushroom and Poblano Pepper Tamales Recipe (Courtesy of 'Chickpea and Olive')***

The Filling:

1# Chanterelle Mushrooms(you can substitute oyster mushrooms or any of your favorite kinds)

1 Medium onion, sliced into 1/8 inch juliennes (or just a medium chop if you prefer)

3 cloves of garlic, mince

3 Poblano peppers, roasted, peeled, and chopped (burn the skins over the stove and place the peppers in a sealed zip top bag for 5 minutes and the skins come right off.)

epazote or oregano to taste

salt to taste

Start by browning the garlic in the bottom of a large skillet with plenty of oil (about 1/4 cup. I use olive oil). Once the garlic is golden, add the onions and 2 pinches of salt. Stir the pan well to get the garlic off the bottom. once the onions have turned translucent and begun to caramelize, remove them from the pan with a slotted spoon and leave as much oil as possible (do not put the onions and garlic on a towel, just remove to a bowl). Now put as many mushrooms in the pan as it takes to layer the bottom. Salt the mushrooms lightly, and then just let them cook over medium heat for 3 minutes without touching them. Just walk away.

When you come back, flip each mushroom over, one at a time, with a fork, or just shake the pan and give it a flip. Now walk away again. Three minutes. Start your timers.

You're back? Did you set a timer? Timers are good for this kind of thing. GOOD! Now add the onions and the Poblano peppers into the pan, toss them all together, and add a quarter cup of water or white wine or lime juice, and turn off the heat. HUZZAH!

The Salsa

8 large tomatillos

1 small onion, diced

3 cloves of garlic

1 jalapeno

10 oregano or epazote leaves

1/2 a bunch of cilantro leaves and stems, chopped finely

salt to taste

place the pepper and the tomatillo in a roasting pan and put in a preheated oven at 450 degrees. Let them roast for 30-45 minutes, or until the skins are browned and blistered, and even starting to blacken. In the mean time saute the onions and the garlic in a pan over medium heat until golden brown. Add the onions, garlic, tomatillos, jalapeno, epazote or oregano, and the cilantro to a food processor or blender and pulse until combined. Season with salt and as much as 3-4 tablespoons of olive oil.

The Masa:

Remember how to make corn broth? well if you have a couple of quarts left over you can use it all over again.

2 cups instant masa for tamales

2 cups corn broth

2/3 cup coconut oil

2 tbsp salt

1tsp baking powder

Mix the tamale flour with salt and baking powder. Add the corn broth and mix with your hands until it is all incorporated. Next add the coconut oil and mix with your hands until thoroughly combined. You may feel tempted to put the dough in a mixer, but I find it is faster and easier with my hands.


You can roll your tamales in banana leaves (Oaxaca style), corn husks (Poblano and central Mexico), or even in chard leaves or collard greens. Just use a 1 ounce disher to put 2 scoops in your leaf and flatten the dough with the back of a spoon or your fingers. Add a scoop of filling, and a couple pinches of daiya cheese, and some salsa verde. Now roll up the leaf and fold over the bottom. Stand your tamales in a steamer, open side up, and steam them for 40 minutes. Serve with salsa verde and pickled jalapenos.

© 2012 Food & Recipe All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

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